WHAT’S ON THE MINDS OF THE STARS OF
UFC® FIGHT NIGHT: COWBOY vs. TILL?
Gdansk, Poland — The Octagon® returns to Poland for just the second time in UFC history. UFC® FIGHT NIGHT: COWBOY vs. TILL action takes place this Saturday, October 21, at the Ergo Arena in Gdansk, Poland. Here is what the stars had to say ahead of their bouts:
Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone
For more information or current fight news, visit ufc.com. All bouts live and subject to change.
Jason “El Canito” Sosa to Clash with Robinson “Robin Hood” Castellanos on Televised Undercard
of Kovalev vs. Shabranskyy at
The Theater at Madison Square Garden in
New York City Saturday, November 25
Televised Live on
HBO World Championship Boxing®
Portion of Ticket Proceeds to be Donated to Hurricane and Earthquake Relief Efforts
NEW YORK CITY (Oct. 19, 2017) Two of the most experienced fighters in the stacked 130-pound division will continue the heated Puerto Rico vs. Mexico rivalry when Jason “El Canito” Sosa (20-2-4, 14 KOs) takes on Robinson “Robin Hood” Castellanos (24-13, 14 KOs) in a 10-round super featherweight fight at the Theater at Madison Square Garden on the televised undercard for Kovalev vs. Shabrankskyy. The event takes place Saturday, Nov. 25 and will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.
Although the competition between Puerto Rico and Mexico runs deep in the ring, Latinos come together and support each other in times of need. In light of the natural disasters affecting Mexico and the Caribbean, a portion of the proceeds of the ticket sales form this event will be donated to relief efforts for Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and the earthquake in Mexico City when ticket buyers use the code LATINOSUNIDOS to purchase their tickets through Ticketmaster.
“With the terrible natural disasters that have impacted Puerto Rico and Mexico recently, it was incredibly important to us that we find opportunities in boxing to give back to those affected,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions. “Though Puerto Rico and Mexico are rivals when it comes to boxing we stand together united to help these communities recover and rebuild their lives.”
The 29-year-old Sosa, of Camden, NJ and of Puerto Rican descent, is the former WBA World Super Featherweight Champion. He earned his title by handing Javier “El Abejon” Fortuna his first loss as a pro with an 11th-round knockout in Beijing, China in June 2016. Sosa successfully defended his title with a 12-round decision win over Stephen Smith in Monte Carlo in November 2016 before returning several months later in a tough fight against Vasyl “Hi-Tech” Lomachenko in April 2017. Sosa is also known for fighting to an impressive majority draw against former WBA Super World Featherweight Champion Nicholas “Axe Man” Walters and for stopping former world title challenger Jerry “The Corpus Christi Kid” Belmontes in only one round. Sosa’s aggressive style should produce fireworks against Castellanos.
“Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico,” said Sosa. “I have been living there for the last few months and I opened a business there. Now to see the destruction and devastation that my people are going through, it breaks my heart. It was very difficult for me to leave and begin my training camp back in New Jersey to get ready for the fight against Castellanos. This fight is important for many reasons. It is the beginning of the road to becoming champion again and it is my way of giving Puerto Rico a reason to smile and be proud. They are my biggest supporters and that little island shows me so much love. I can’t do much but I can show them that this win is for them. I want to thank Castellanos and HBO for this opportunity.”
Castellanos is a battle-tested warrior who is coming off a spectacular performance against current WBA Super World Super Featherweight Champion Jezreel “El Invisible” Corrales in July of this year. The 35-year-old native of Guanajuato, Mexico also handed super bantamweight contender and world title challenger Ronny Rios his first career loss, stopping him by TKO in October of 2014. Before challenging for a world title, Castellanos stopped Cuban former unified WBA and IBF Featherweight Champion Yuriorkis “El Ciclon de Guantánamo” Gamboa on the May 5 edition of Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN. After having been so close to winning a world title in his last outing, Castellanos will look to make sure that he gets another crack at the top of the division with a victory on Nov. 25.
“What has happened in Mexico and Puerto [Rico] has been devastating,” said Castellanos. But it has also reminded us that we are strong and united. The crisis won’t be resolved from one day to another, but however long it takes we will lift ourselves up. I know little about Jason [Sosa], but I know that he was a world champion. He has already accomplished a dream that I am still looking to accomplish. I know that I’ll need a victory to fight for a world title again. Both of us will have to leave everything in the ring, and I hope that the people in New York really enjoy our fight.”
Tickets are currently on sale and are available at ticketmaster.com and the Madison Square Garden Box Office. Use the code LATINOSUNIDOS when purchasing your tickets to donate a portion of the proceeds to hurricane relief efforts in Puerto Rico and the rebuilding efforts in Mexico following the earthquake in Mexico City. The donations will go to the Hispanic Federation’s Unidos fund and to Habitat for Humanity Mexico.
Here’s what the main event fighters had to say regarding their respective training camps:
JEZREEL “EL INVISIBLE” CORRALES, WBA Super World Super Featherweight Champion:
FEATHERWEIGHT PROSPECTS LUIS ROSA & YUANDALE EVANS HEADLINE SHOBOX: THE NEW GENERATION QUADRUPLEHEADER FRIDAY, NOV. 10 FROM CLEVELAND, OHIO
Plus Undefeated Radzhab Butaev, Junior Fa & 2016 U.S. Olympian Charles Conwell Featured In Separate Bouts
Live on SHOWTIME at 10 p.m. ET/PT
From Masonic Temple & Performing Arts Center in Cleveland
NEW YORK (Oct. 18, 2017) – Undefeated featherweight Luis Rosa will face once-beaten Yuandale Evans in a 10-round matchup of 126-pound prospects looking to make a statement in one of boxing’s deepest divisions in the main event of ShoBox: The New Generation Friday, Nov. 10 live on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/PT) from Masonic Temple & Performing Arts Center in Cleveland.
The quadruple header features eight fighters making their ShoBox debuts, including six undefeated prospects. The four-fight telecast is ShoBox’s first return to Cleveland since 2014.
In the co-feature, former Russian amateur standout Radzhab Butaev (7-0, 6 KOs, WSOB: 9-1) will take on Colombia’s Janer Gonzalez (19-0-1, 15 KOs) in an eight-round welterweight matchup. Butaev compiled a record of 304-12 in the unpaid ranks, followed by a 9-1 record in the World Series of Boxing, while Gonzalez was a member of the Colombian National Team with an equally impressive 291-29 record as an amateur.
In a televised heavyweight attraction, New Zealand’s Junior Fa (12-0, 7 KOs), who owns two amateur victories over countryman and current WBO Heavyweight World Champion Joseph Parker, will face Pittsburgh’s Fred Latham (9-0-2, 5 KOs) in an eight-round bout.
In the ShoBox opening bout, undefeated 2016 U.S. Olympian and Cleveland native Charles Conwell (5-0, 5 KOs) will look to keep his knockout streak intact in his hometown debut in a six-round super welterweight matchup with Panama’s Roque “Rocky” Zapata (4-1-3, 0 KOs).
“I am thrilled to bring this talent-filled quadruple header to the ShoBox series, from the Masonic Temple in Cleveland, Ohio,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. “Undefeated featherweight contender Luis Rosa Jr. faces hard puncher Yuandale Evans. Amateur prodigy Radzhab Butaev and New Zealand heavyweight prospect Junior Fa –who defeated Joseph Parker as an amateur—will be tested by fellow unbeaten opponents. U.S. Olympian Charles Conwell, one of the most exciting young prospects in boxing, will make his national TV debut in his hometown. On November 10, to quote Ian Hunter, ‘Cleveland Rocks!'”
Tickets are priced from $35 to $90 and can be obtained by visiting BoxingCleveland.com. The Masonic Temple and Performance Arts Center is located at 3615 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44115. Doors will open on the night of the event at 7:00 p.m.
LUIS ROSA vs. YUANDALE EVANS – 10-Round Featherweight Bout
The 26-year-old Rosa (23-0, 11 KOs) is a Puerto Rico native who lives and fights out of New Haven, Conn. The come-forward, aggressive Rosa has recorded four knockouts in his last seven fights.
Trained by his father Luis Rosa Sr. and managed by his mother Marilyn, Rosa is currently ranked No. 10 by the WBC at 126 pounds, and was 95-10 as an amateur. Fighting in one of boxing’s deepest divisions (Leo Santa Cruz, Abner Mares, Carl Frampton, Gary Russell Jr.), the U.S. National Silver Medalist is looking to establish himself as a featherweight contender, and has career wins over Luis Orlando Del Valle (18-1) and Jorge Diaz (17-2).
“I’m dedicating this fight to the people who are still suffering from the tragedy of the hurricane,” Rosa said. “We are and always have been very strong people and I take that into the ring with me on November 10. I’ve seen some tapes of Evans. He’s a tough, strong fighter but my skills are much greater and I will be victorious and move one step closer to a shot at a world title.”
The 28-year-old Evans (19-1, 14 KOs) is a Cleveland native fighting in his hometown for the first time. Known as a power-puncher who works fast, Evans has recorded eight of his 14 knockouts in the first round. His only professional loss came against future world title holder Javier Fortuna in April of 2012.
Evans, who took a three-year hiatus following the Fortuna loss, is coming off the best win of his career – a hard-fought 10-round unanimous decision over Billel Dib (21-1; WBO No. 7-ranked coming into the fight) in Miami, Okla., in April.
“I’m thrilled to be fighting at home in Cleveland, the city of Champions,” Evans said. “It’s been a very long time since I’ve had a home fight. Truly, I’ve been a road warrior fighting all over the world.
“I’ve followed Luis Rosa for a couple years, I know he’s a very tough Puerto Rican fighter. He’s the same height as me and will come to fight, which will make for an all-action fight. But I know I’m the toughest competition he’s had and I’m planning to win in front of the big hometown crowd and everyone watching on SHOWTIME.”
The vacant WBC Continental Americas Title belt is on the line for this fight.
RADZHAB BUTAEV vs. JANER GONZALEZ – 8-Round Welterweight Bout
Russian Radzhab Butaev had a stellar amateur career during which he compiled a record of 304-12 with 164 KOs. A former Russian National Champion, Butaev qualified for the 2016 Olympics but instead elected to turn pro in the United States.
Butaev has progressed quickly since turning professional in March of 2016 – of his seven professional fights, six of his seven opponents have had winning records. The 23-year old is coming into his fifth fight of the year and the eighth fight in his short, 18-month professional career. Five of Butaev’s seven fights have taken place in the U.S, while his other two victories were on his home turf in Moscow, Russia. In his last fight in July, the 23-year-old Butaev knocked out Sherzodbek Alimjanov in Red Square in Moscow.
Said Butaev, “This is a great opportunity to fight on SHOWTIME and I’m looking forward to putting on a tremendous performance. I know that Colombian fighters are well known for their power but I faced many hard hitters in the amateurs and I’ll be ready for victory on November 10.”
A native of Barranquilla, Colombia, the heavy-handed Janer Gonzalez sports a record of 19-0-1 with 15 knockouts. Prior to turning professional in 2011, Gonzalez was a member of the Colombian National Boxing Team, compiling a record of 291-29. Gonzalez, who returned in September following a two and a half-year layoff, will make his U.S. debut against Butaev.
“It’s a dream come true to make my television debut in the United States,” said Gonzalez. “I grew up watching all of my favorite boxers fighting in the U.S. and now it’s my turn. It’s truly surreal how everything unfolded. I was ready to give up on boxing when an opportunity just came my way. I fought in Mexico and here I am.
“I had a long layoff, but I needed it. It has made me more appreciative, more motivated. I work harder now. I had my last fight on a Saturday and on Monday I was back in the gym. I’ve studied my opponent. I’m ready. My style will mold to his. I’ll get on his face and counterpunch. On November 10 boxing fans will see a Colombian warrior that came to America to become a legend.”
Butaev vs. Gonzalez is promoted in association with Fight Promotions.
JUNIOR FA vs. FRED LATHAM – Eight Rounds Heavyweight Bout
Standing 6-feet, 5 inches and weighing 270 pounds, the 27-year-old Junior Fa has compiled a professional record of 12-0 with seven knockouts since turning pro in February 2016. Fa had a successful amateur career, which included two victories over reigning WBO Heavyweight Champion Joseph Parker. The native of Papakura, New Zealand has most recently trained in England with heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua and has also sparred with Joshua’s Oct. 28 opponent Carlos Takam.
Fa, who won a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games, will fight for just the second time in the United States.
“I’m thrilled to be fighting in the United States again and on SHOWTIME,” said Fa. “I know Latham is undefeated but I also plan on staying unbeaten on November 10. Training with Anthony Joshua improved my boxing in many ways and just as important taught me what it takes inside the gym to become a world champion.”
Fighting out of Pittsburgh, Pa., Fred Latham (9-0-2, 5 KOs) is a former Pennsylvania Golden Gloves Champion. In his last bout on December 3, 2016, the 27-year-old Latham battled to a split decision draw against Alonzo Butler.
Said Latham, “I appreciate the opportunity to fight on SHOWTIME and I am looking forward to facing Fa. I’ve heard a lot about him and the great heavyweight prospect he is but on November 10 I’ll show the world that I’m a much better fighter.”
CHARLES CONWELL vs. ROQUE ‘Rocky’ ZAPATA – Six-Round Super Welterweight Bout
Nineteen-year-old Charles Conwell, who turns 20 on Nov. 2, is 5-0 with all of his victories coming by way of technical knockout. The Cleveland native has a decorated resume – he went 134-14, was the National Gold Gloves Champion in 2015, and a 2016 U.S. Olympian. Conwell has been busy since turning pro last year, having fought all five of his professional fights in the past eight months. In his last fight in August, Conwell earned a technical knockout against Rey Trujillo.
“I’m thrilled to be fighting at home for the first time as a professional and on ShoBox,” said Conwell. “I can’t wait to put on a great performance for the Cleveland fans and those seeing me for the first time on national television.”
The 21-year-old Zapata is a native of Panama City, Panama now fighting out of Culpepper, Va. Having compiled a record of 4-1-3 since turning professional 18 months ago, he is currently riding a three bout winning streak. Zapata is coming off the biggest win of his career, a six-round decision over previously undefeated Justin Steave on June 24 in Pittsburgh.
“This fight with Charles Conwell is an exciting challenge for me. He had a great amateur career and he made the Olympic team,” said Zapata. “I’ve been offered to fight him twice, but at the time I was injured and had to decline. But on November 10, Charles and I will come face-to-face and put on a show for the fans. I’m ready to do my job.”
UFC LAUNCHES A NEW DIVISION FOR FEMALE FIGHTERS BY CROWNING ITS FIRST WOMEN’S FLYWEIGHT CHAMPION AT
THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER®: A NEW WORLD CHAMPION FINALE
Some of the world’s most exceptional female fighters from a variety of different backgrounds converged to compete on The Ultimate Fighter this season, including two UFC vets, Roxanne Modafferi and Lauren Murphy, former Invicta FC flyweight champion Barb Honchak and seven-time world jiu-jitsu champion Sijara Eubanks. The experience levels ranged from 2-1 Shana Dobson to Modafferi’s 34 professional bouts. Women came from across the globe, bringing different life experiences that range from Hungary’s Melinda Fabian to Nicco Montano, who was born and raised on an Indian reservation in Arizona, but all with the same goal of leaving Las Vegas with gold strapped around their waist.
The winner of this season will join an elite group of current and former UFC champions, including Forrest Griffin, Rashad Evans, Matt Serra, Michael Bisping, TJ Dillashaw, Carla Esparza and Robert Whittaker who have competed on The Ultimate Fighter and have gone on to win a world title in the Octagon®.
In addition, winner of season 23 of The Ultimate Fighter Andrew Sanchez (10-3, fighting out of Las Vegas, Nev.) returns to action to take on submission ace Ryan Janes (9-2, fighting out of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada) in a middleweight showdown. Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Eric Spicely (10-3, fighting out of Las Vegas, Nev.) clashes with dynamic finisher Gerald Meerschaert (26-9, fighting out of Milwaukee, Wisc.) at 185 pounds. Sean O’Malley (8-0, fighting out of Glendale, Ariz.), who competed on the first season of Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series, puts his undefeated record on the line against heavy-handed bantamweight Terrion Ware (17-6, fighting out of Hawthorne, Calif.). And former 135-pound title challenger Joe Soto (18-5, fighting out of Porterville, Calif.) meets undefeated Brett Johns (14-0, fighting out of Swansea, Wales).
For the latest information on additional bouts for this event, please visit www.ufc.com. All bouts live and subject to change.
Swanson and Ortega Meet In A Home State Showdown In Fresno
Always entertaining, No. 7 Aljamain Sterling (14-2, fighting out of Uniondale, N.Y.) is hoping a win this December will earn him a top-five ranking in the competitive bantamweight division. Sterling’s path to the top of the weight class goes through veteran submission specialist Rani Yahya (24-9, 1 NC, fighting out of Brasilia, Brazil). The four-time Submission of the Night earner is known as one of the best ground fighters in UFC, as an astonishing 18 of his 24 career victories have come via submission.
Hometown fans will cheer on one of their own when flyweight Alex Perez (18-4, fighting out of Lemoore, Calif.) makes his UFC debut. Perez looks to earn his sixth consecutive win and eighth first-round finish while defending his home turf against the Philippines’ Carls John De Tomas (8-1, fighting out of Quezon City, NCR, Philippines). The 21-year old “Golden Boy” hopes to use his Muay Thai background to ruin Perez’s homecoming.
Hoboken, NJ-BereaVision-Nueva-York—–Semana de combate para el final de los cuartos de final del peso crucero de la Serie Mundial de Boxeo se inició el miércoles con entrenamientos para los medios en el Everlast Lab en Hoboken, Nueva Jersey, antes del choque entre el campeón de la FIB, Murat Gassiev y el ex campeón Krzysztof Wlodarczyk. Octubrer 21 desde el Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. len vivo on AUDIENCE Network.
Promovido por Ringstar Sports en asociación con World Boxing Super Series, las entradas para el evento en vivo ya están a la venta y están disponibles en Ticketmaster.com. Los boletos también están disponibles para comprar en la taquilla del Prudencial Center.
También asistieron el miércoles y competirán en combates destacados el 21 de octubre, el contendiente polaco Mateusz Masternak y el otrora derrotado Stivens Bujaj, que se enfrentarán en un partido de reserva de peso crucero de WBSS y el invicto contendiente polaco Maciej Sulecki y el ex retador de título Jack Culcay, peso súper welter.
“He estado trabajando muy duro en Big Bear, California con Abel Sánchez durante aproximadamente 10 semanas preparándose para esta pelea. Somos como una familia allá arriba. Tengo mis hermanos rusos, además de Gennady Golovkin, que definitivamente es como un hermano mayor a mi.
“Abel me ha ayudado mucho. No ha tratado de cambiar mi estilo. Simplemente entró y mejoró mi estilo. Significa mucho para mí.
“Mi última pelea fue mi primera oportunidad por el título y me sentí muy bien en ese momento. Mis nervios estaban tranquilos y siento que estoy preparado para eso. Quiero estar en este puesto por mucho tiempo.
“Estoy muy agradecido de ser parte de este torneo. Estoy muy feliz de ser parte de esto. Esta es una oportunidad para ser un campeón del mundo unificado y demostrar que soy el mejor de la división.
“Mi oponente tiene mucha experiencia y ha estado en muchas peleas difíciles. Ha estado en más peleas que yo, así que solo necesito estar listo. Estoy preparado para 12 rondas o una pelea corta. Esto es lo que yo entrenar para.
“Les mostraré a todos lo que estoy hablando el sábado por la noche. No soy un gran conversador, pero hablaré en voz alta con mis puños el sábado”.
“El campamento de entrenamiento fue muy bien y estoy físicamente preparado para este desafío. Verás lo fuerte que soy mentalmente cuando llegue al ring el sábado.
“Tengo que estar preparado para cualquier cosa. Sé que trabajó mucho para entrar y lastimarme, así que tendré que estar listo para luchar contra cualquier cosa que haga.
“Todo el mundo sabe que mi experiencia me ayudará. He tenido muchos más combates profesionales que Gassiev. Pero también tendré que mostrar boxeo inteligente. Creo que soy el luchador más inteligente y lo mostraré el sábado.
“Mi primer objetivo es ganar y convertirme en el campeón mundial de la FIB. Eso me colocaría en un lugar especial en la historia del boxeo polaco como tres veces campeón mundial. Ganar este torneo sería muy prestigioso y lucrativo para mí.
“Siempre es genial contar con el apoyo de los grandes fanáticos polacos. Realmente apoyan a todos sus muchachos de Polonia. Pero tengo mucha experiencia peleando en la carretera sin fanáticos polacos, así que será una buena bonificación.
“Va a ser un choque de estilos, no sé exactamente cómo será, pero puedo garantizar que será emocionante”.
Fotos: David Calderon
Video: Levi Morales